FIJI NEWS

NAMOSI Landowners approve Waisoi mining

Breakaway group oks mining on their land LOSALINI RASOQOSOQO suva The landowning unit of Nabukebuke, where mining for the Waisoi Project is to take place, has removed itself from the
29 Mar 2014 08:00

Breakaway group oks mining on their land
LOSALINI RASOQOSOQO
suva
The landowning unit of Nabukebuke, where mining for the Waisoi Project is to take place, has removed itself from the Tikina Namosi Landowners Committee (TNLC).
The head of the Nabukebuke clan, Daniele Vakatawabai, said the move was to allow mining to be carried out in the area.
Mining was to have started in the area but the Government had not released any mining licence after environmental concerns were raised.
The concerns called for another feasibility study to be carried out to determine the environmental impact of the project.
Exploration activities by the Namosi Joint Venture (NJV) have focussed on two ore bodies in the Waisoi area in the Namosi Province which contain copper, gold, and molybdenum. Highly prospective copper and gold mineral deposits have also been identified in the Waivaka Corridor and other areas.
According to Mr Vakatawabai, their new committee members, now running for three months, has decided to distance themselves from the TNLC stand because they fully support the project.
“We want development to be carried out because it will also benefit our future generation,” he said.
“Members of the old committee were influenced by other people, which was one of the reasons why they were against the mining to be carried out.
“The Namosi Joint Venture has used a large sum of money on education and development in the area yet the people are still against mining even though they are enjoying receiving these benefits.”
He said they had supported this project from the very beginning.
Twenty four clans make up the TNLC, however only four clans have their lands earmarked for mining.
An area belonging to the Nabukebuke clan has already been identified while the areas of Nabaucoko, Naqelekautia and Naburekalou are still being explored.
The Waisoi Project, if approved and developed would include open pit mining to produce a copper concentrate with gold byproducts for export. The key mine infrastructure would include two open pits, tailings and waste rock storage facilities, a power station and processing plant, administration camp and access roads.
The NJV is undertaking extensive technical studies to determine whether it is possible to develop and mine the two ore bodies at Waisoi.
The NJV estimates a mine life of approximately 20-25 years, depending on the annual production rate. The mine life would also depend on the extent to which mineable reserves may change in the future subject to on-going exploration and economic factors.
Feedback: losalinir@fijisun.com.fj




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